Ten Pieces of Inspiration #68

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well.

I spent significant time this week finding quotes on the value of work for a presentation I may be giving in a few weeks. I intended to just use these quotes as interstital fillers and for a “screensaver” at the start, but I found so many that inspired me that they became a running theme throughout. Here are some of my favorites (apologies if a few of these have appeared in inspirations before).

1. J. M. Barrie on what you’d rather be doing
If you’re pretty happy doing what you’re doing, is it really work?

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” – J. M. Barrie

I find that I can enjoy almost any task if I can slip into a focused zone while doing it. I think I enjoy the accomplishment.

2. Edison on work and opportunity
Good things typically don’t happen while you’re sitting around waiting for them to happen. You have to pave the way for good things, and that’s often hard work.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

Everything successful I’ve built in my life has involved a lot of thankless work before success ever came along.

3. Sherry Turkle on connectedness and loneliness
Genuine connections between people aren’t built out of texts or quick messages. If you substitute those things for real connection, you’ll find loneliness in the long run.

This is really insightful and thought provoking.

4. Bette Davis on the impossible task
Try something hard rather than something easy if you want to improve.

“Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” – Bette Davis

I feel this every time I work on a novel or something else that really pushes me.

5. Johnny Cash sings Hurt
Few songs dig straight into my soul like this one does.

Struggles and achievements go hand in hand.

6. Indira Gandhi on work and credit
I’d rather be known for actually doing something than for taking credit for things I didn’t do.

“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” – Indira Gandhi

Eventually, the person that can actually walk the walk comes out on top of the person who can talk the talk. I’ve seen it happen over and over and over again.

7. Tulips
The tulips in front of our house are in stunning full bloom. Each day, it’s been fun watching them emerge (some at a different pace due to shade) and bloom.


Even now, as they lose their bloom, they’re still beautiful.

Thanks to Igor Kilsov for the image (I couldn’t get a good one of our own tulips).

8. Bishop Cumberland on a life of work
The only time I plan to stop being productive in my life is when I’m physically or mentally unable to produce anything.

“Better to wear out than to rust out.” – Bishop Cumberland

Work is too much fun.

9. George Bernard Shaw on overcoming failures
Most of the things most of us do are failures.

“When I was young I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.” – George Bernard Shaw

Often, though, all we’re shown are the successes, not the hard work behind them.

10. Thomas Edison on working without clocks
The clock is my single worst work interruptor. It seems like almost every time I get into a work flow, it’s interrupted by some appointment.

“I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom.” – Thomas Edison

I always do my best work when time really doesn’t matter that much.

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